Controlling Stormwater at the Source: Exploring best management practices

Photo courtesy Katie McKain

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates stormwater runoff is responsible for 70 percent of all water pollution in lakes, rivers, and creeks. When developers use conventional methods such as impervious surfaces, stormwater is often left uncontrolled. The emergence of low-impact development (LID) and effective stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) are changing designers’ perceptions of stormwater from a constraint into an opportunity for natural processes to return.

Read More

Defining and Refining Polished Concrete

Hiperfloor premium reflectiveHC550-0142

French-American architect Paul Philippe Cret once said, “Of the many doorways we pass in a short walk, most are fulfilling their purpose, most of them are well-enough built. [But] how many are worth a second look?” Cannot the same be said about architectural polished concrete? Are your floors meeting your design intent or did you settle? Do you know how to distinguish between the floor you asked for, and the floor being presented to you during the punch list?

Read More

White, Light, and Out of Sight: Geofoam applications for infrastructure and building projects

Photo courtesy Insulfoam

Design professionals are increasingly choosing geosynthetics like expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam as a lightweight fill material in infrastructure and building applications. The material is about 100 times lighter than traditional fills, yet is strong enough to support pavements carrying jumbo jets. EPS geofoam is durable, moisture-resistant, and, unlike other fills, has predictable stress/strain curves. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), state and local jurisdictions and private engineering firms have specified EPS geofoam for soft soil remediation, lateral load reduction upon retaining structures, slope stabilization, buried utility protection and structural void fill.

Read More

Mechanically stabilized earth walls

Advantages in economics, ease of construction, and an abundance of proprietary wall systems have increased the popularity of mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls. The contract delivery methods vary, often confusing the roles and responsibilities of various project team members. The growth of MSE wall construction, the wide selection of materials, and variable delivery methods can create many design and construction challenges and potential pitfalls.

Read More